Tag is a traditionally popular children's game with simple rules that almost everyone knows. One person is designated as "it" and chases or hunts down the other participants who run and hide within a designated area. The round is finished when the "it" person tags or touches another participant before the hunted person reaches "home" or the designated safe spot.
Add moving motor vehicles, the cover of darkness, and local out-of-the-way hiding places to the game and it morphs into "car tag." The rules of this game stay somewhat the same as the classic children's game, except instead of merely having to touch a person, the driver of the "it" vehicle must corner and stop the other vehicle completely or even race back to "home" in order to claim victory.
Some people go one-step further and add a citizens band, or CB, radio to "car tag" to create "CB tag" or "rabbit hunt." In this version, the gameplay set-up is reversed. The "it" person finds a hiding spot and sporadically sends out brief messages or hints to the pursuers. The pursuers then use the hints and check the strength of signal meter to track down the "it" vehicle. When the "it" vehicle is found, the race to "home" is on.
No matter which motorized manifestation people choose, it is the chase, say law enforcement officials, which can have deadly consequences. In the child's game, players who collide while trying to reach "home" usually end up with nothing more than a few bumps or bruises. In the motorized versions, however, players (and their vehicles) who collide often require serious medical assistance and/or expensive vehicle repair. Occasionally the collisions result in fatalities.
While he could make no comment on the ongoing investigations, Audrain County Prosecuting Attorney Jacob Shellabarger did confirm that currently in Audrain County, approximately three separate vehicle crash incidents are being investigated as possible results from the "car tag" game.
Persons witnessing instances of "car tag" being played are asked to contact local law enforcement officials in an effort to reduce crashes and possibly save lives.